If you are a big fan of our high-performance planner, chances are you are not the type of person who likes to be put into a box. You probably don't appreciate the one-size-fits-all approach to anything. So that being the case, do not stress over trying to figure out whether to use a daily planner, daily journal, or both. There is no 'best' way.
Our modern culture likes things to be neat and clean. As much as people claim to want to be different, we seem to strive for sameness. That doesn't work for certain groups of people. Some of these groups are not like everyone else. We aren't all the same within our own group. That's okay. That's good.
What is not good is trying to convince people that a daily planner is better than a journal, or vice-versa. It's not good to promote the idea that there is a single best way for everyone to organize their thoughts. There isn't.
Daily Planning vs. Journaling
Perhaps an explanation of the differences between daily planning and journaling are necessary here. A general rule suggests that daily planning is all about organizing one's tasks and schedule in hopes of making it easier to accomplish one's goals on a given day. Tasks are prioritized to ensure that the most important ones get done first. Any tasks left undone can be shifted to another day.
Journaling is intended to help you organize your thoughts as well, but not necessarily to ensure that you get all your work done. Journaling is more expressive and less structured. As a general rule, its main purpose is to give you an outlet to express what you are thinking and feeling, even if your thoughts and feelings have nothing to do with organizing your day or getting things done.
With these differences understood, they aren't always black and white. For example, you could use our daily planner as both a planner and journal. Likewise, you could use our luxury notebook journal for both journaling and daily planning. You could combine traditional journaling with bullet journaling to accomplish both things.
More About Bullet Journaling
As a side note, bullet journaling is the practice of organizing your thoughts in a journal using bulleted lists. Some people turn to bullet journaling as a way of consolidating daily thoughts, to-do lists, schedules, etc. all in one place. They find the bulleted list method immensely helpful for keeping track of things.
Whatever Works for Your Brain
Let us close this post by getting back to the central question: should you use a daily planner, a journal, or both? The answer is pretty simple. Whatever works best for your brain is the best option for you. The goal of daily planning and journaling is not to adhere to some sort of system. It is to make your life easier by helping you organize your thoughts.
You might be the kind of person who thrives with a high-performance planner that includes a daily schedule, task prioritization, and habit tracking. Great! We offer both printed daily planners and downloadable PDFs.
You might also be the type of person who prefers to keep a daily journal and nothing more. That's great, too. We have products for you as well. And yes, we even have you covered if you prefer to do both.
Neither journaling nor daily planning is a better choice than the other. Neither one represents a one-size-fits-all approach for everyone. Give yourself permission to organize your life in whatever way makes sense to you.